South East unveils £25m treatment plant expansion

South East Water has invested £25 million in growing the capacity of its Berkshire treatment site by 50% to meet the demand of the growing population.

The expansion of the plant in Bray, which opened this week, can now pump up to 68 million litres of water daily. It will serve households in Hampshire, Surrey and Berkshire.

Work began on the extension in 2018 with a series of large tanks installed including a rapid gravity filter unit that uses sand to remove pesticides from raw water and a sludge treatment system. It also features a 500,000 litres granular activated carbon tank to remove unwanted odours from the water.

Desmond Brown, head of engineering at South East, said: “We have invested a significant amount into expanding our treatment works, highlighting our dedication to ensuring we continue to supply the community with top-quality drinking water as the population grows.”

The works at Bray Keleher first opened in 1996 and was capable of pumping up to 45 million litres of water daily.

Operations director Doug Whitfield with Theresa May

Former prime minister and MP for Maidenhead Theresa May opened the site and noted that water is “something which many of us take for granted”.

Additional demand for water resources in the south east of England are predicted to reach up to one billion litres more each day as population growth could bring an additional 5.3 million people to the region by 2060.

The regional water resource management plan has set out recommendations to meet this need by adding three reservoirs and a desalination plant in the south east.